Italy

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Conosci la terra dei limoni in fiore, | dove le arance d’oro splendono tra le foglie scure, | dal cielo azzurro spira un mite vento, | quieto sta il mirto e l’alloro è eccelso, | la conosci forse? | Laggiù, laggiù io | andare vorrei con te, o amato mio! This verse by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe summarizes the endless opportunities offered by this Country.

 

Capital

Rome (2.731 in 2009)

Surface

301.338 km²

Population

60.250.535

Density

199,9 /km²

Currency

Euro

Time zone

UTC +1. Winter time applies.

Language

Italian

Religion

Catholic.

Entry requirements

Neither passport nor visa is required for European citizens of the Member States. A valid identity card is sufficient. Most of the European driving licenses are accepted.

Travelling with pets

Small sized pets like cats, dogs and ferrets must travel with animal passport (in force since 2004) and have an identification microchip or tattoo. Also, they must be vaccinated against rabies.

Health and safety

Both private and public health structures are excellent. No vaccination is required. It is advisable to bring the magnetic card for health assistance. General safety is good, there are no particular danger zones.

Climate

Italy is situated in the middle of the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, and it is characterised by a considerable variety of climates. In the pre- Alpine areas and in most of the mountain areas of the Apennines climate is temperate cool, whereas in the northern regions, in the upper Adriatic shoreline and in the inner areas of central and south Italy, the climate is temperate sub-continental and continental (Po valley). Moving southward, the climate becomes hot (including the Riviera and most of Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, Apulia and the entire Ionic coast), and subtropical (on the coast of Sicily, south Sardinia and south-central Calabria).

Form of government

Parliamentary Republic

Economy

Italy is a member-state of G8, and it is one of the most industrialized countries of the world. The most important sectors are the automobile, shipbuilding, chemical, pharmaceutical, steel industry and agriculture (even if agriculture employs only 2% of the workforce. Tourism keeps being a fundamental economic source, even though Italy seems to have lost ground in favour of other European destinations.

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V – Frequency: 50 Hz

Post offices, banks and communications

Post offices are generally open from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm (many of these remain open until 19 pm). Opening hours of banks vary according to the city, but generally they follow the 8/8.30 am to 13/13.30 pm office hours, with 1 or 1/½ hour opening in the afternoon. Mobile phone network is excellent.